A Reader's Guide to Unfamiliar Literature
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A Good Place To Start

TitleVotes 
Infinite Jest 3
Girl With Curious Hair 1
The Broom of the System 1
A Supposedly Fun Thing I'll Never Do Again 1

A Bad Place To Start

TitleVotes 
The Broom of the System 2
Brief Interviews With Hideous Men 1
Infinite Jest 1

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David Foster Wallace (1962 - )

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Please consider recommending where to begin reading this author, or where not to. A few words about your experiences reading this author and why you make the recommendations you do will be helpful to other users. If you are the author or have studied this author extensively, please say so.

kalessin January 30th, 2006 04:10 PM PST

I think Infinite Jest is one of the most overrated books of all time.

drunken dime February 25th, 2007 08:36 PM PST

I suspect you are right. I love footnotes, but.... Actually I found it to be profoundly depressing. I usually finish books that I start; not this one. I put it aside with a deep feeling of relief.

Also, there were many, many awkward sentences. I kept wondering "are these sentences intentionally clumsy, and am I too stupid to understand the art behind it?" In the end I decided, no -- it's just not that well written.

notthatbillw January 31st, 2006 04:03 PM PST

The obvious choice is correct here: start with Infinite Jest.

Not only do I disagree with the previous comment that IJ is one of the most overrated books of all time, but I would rank it as one of the top ten books of the 20th century. Really, I'm not just saying that to undo the previous comment (or to prove his or her point).

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